8 start-up lessons from serial entrepreneur Nick Crocker
Nick Crocker, founder of the health & fitness start-up, Sessions, recently posted an enlightening blog entry on Medium.com where he outlined some excellent points every budding entrepreneur should read.
Nick Crocker’s life changed at the age of 23 when, as a budding journalist, he met up with a group of entrepreneurs for a newspaper story.
Inspired by their energy and world-view, Nick joined his first start-up as CEO and over the next six years he would become the founder of a number of different ventures including a web app called ‘We Are Hunted’, which was acquired by Twitter in 2013, and health and fitness tech platform Sessions, which was snapped up by MyFitnessPal in 2013
From an enlightening recent post on Medium, here are eight lessons that should be of interest to every budding entrepreneur...
1. Set deadlines
You need to set deadlines or you will tinker forever. This is why incubators work. They set a date for demo day and you spend a few months scrambling to ship as much product as you can and get as many customers in the door so when you stand up in a room full of investors you have something meaningful to share.
2. Choose your time investment wisely
You are an investor too — you are investing something even more valuable than cash — your time! You can get cash back, time you only get to spend once. So you should invest your time wisely, with remarkable people.
3. Ship early and ship often
A question to ask yourself: Do I ship things? Do I regularly make something — anything — a blog post, an app, a survey, a website, a real-life product — or am I someone who just talks about it? Or reads about it? Or attends conferences about it? Real artists ship. And they don’t just ship, they ship early.
4. Don't be afraid of idea theft
No-one is going to steal your idea… If they do steal your idea, it’s likely no-one is going to execute it quite as well as you would.
5. Start-ups aren't always "fun"
Do not get into startups to have fun. Do it because you have a burning desire to bend the world to your own desires. Do it to feel challenged and fulfilled and satisfied and stretched and tested. But do not do it because it sounds like fun.
6. Don't worry about raising capital
Raising capital should be the last thing on your to-do list. The first thing? The first thing should be to get to break-even, or ramen-profitable, or self-sufficiency. Get to a place where your runway is infinite. Where, whatever happens, you’ll still have a small, stable business to keep you fed and clothed and housed.
7. Prepare to be lonely
Fair warning. Being an entrepreneur is regularly and consistently extremely lonely… The only way to ward against this is to find start-up friends. People going through what you have to go through. It’s highly likely that partners, parents and siblings will not understand you. So create a start-up family to provide that support.
8. Read, read, read
There is so much amazing information available to would-be entrepreneurs. Read as much as you can while you’re deciding what to work on. Read Paul Graham. Read Fred Wilson. Read Marc Andreesen. Read Ben Horowitz. Read Mark Suster and Tom Tunguz. If all you did for a quarter was read an article a day from one of those people, you’d come out the other side in a much smarter, better place.